City of Mist In Action #5: Change the Game
Welcome back to another City of Mist In Action, where we explain the rules of our favorite cinematic modern fantasy TTRPG through showing them off in-game. In our previous videos, we’ve shown off how flexible the City of Mist ruleset can be for everything from alleyway rumbles to ballroom politics. This freedom also extends to City of Mist character creation, where players can design everything from hard-boiled detectives to time-traveling hipsters.
What ties together this incredible freedom with easy-to-learn game mechanics are the City of Mist player moves. Almost every action in this game can be made through using one of these eight moves. And in today’s video, we’ll be going over the move that gives the players the most freedom to affect the world: Change the Game.
Change the Game works like this; when you use your abilities to give yourself or your allies an advantage, you make a roll. On a success, you gain an amount of a special resource called Juice. You can spend Juice like a narrative currency to create or burn tags and give or reduce statuses, with even more options on a full success.
To allow for a wide range of freedom, the move is written to be incredibly broad, which can trip up new players. But once you know how Change the Game works, a whole new level of the game is unlocked.
Let’s set the scene. A liquor store in the town of Whitecliff is currently being held up by a pair of Knight Errants. This local biker gang with mysterious motives has been vandalizing businesses all over town. But thankfully, two members of the All-Seeing Eye Investigations Crew have set an ambush. Job the priest who can never die and the nature-controlling Detective Enkidu are standing outside about to take down these Errants.
Before walking in, Detective Enkidu wants to use her access to the police armory to stock up on supplies. Using her tags police work and access to police armory, Enkidu rolls to Change the Game. A roll of 9 plus the 2 Power from her tags gives her an 11, a complete success!
Enkidu’s 2 Power turns into 2 Juice. She spends 1 Juice to create the story tag bulletproof vest, which will help her out if things get dicey. But note that story tags and statuses created using Juice are temporary and only affect a single target. The only way to change that is by spending Juice on upgrades.
With a complete success, Enkidu can use her remaining Juice to hide the bulletproof vest under her clothes, or make another bulletproof vest for her friend Job. But Enkidu doesn’t need to hide, and Job’s superpower is not dying, so neither of those are necessary. Instead, Enkidu chooses to prolong the effect and make it ongoing. Enkidu’s bulletproof vest will now last for multiple Moves, providing more protection. If you want to know an advanced City of Mist tactic, making a story tag ongoing also allows for it to be burned for a hit, just like you can do for power tags.
Now ready to go, Detective Enkidu and Job burst onto the scene to confront the Knight Errants. This is where the MC reveals the other story tags that are evident to the PC’s at the moment they become evident. In this case, each Knight Errant is revealed to be packing a makeshift shield, junk-made sword, and a dogmatic strength of conviction driving their actions. The shop owner they’re threatening has also been injured with a cut-2 status.
Our bleeding heart Job wants to try to talk the Errants down before things escalate into a fight. Specifically, Job’s player wants to take away their strength of conviction tags. He only needs 1 Juice per tag, so he thinks he can break through to them easily.
Using the tags compassionate, have a heart-to-heart, and “Listen, son…”, Job rolls to Change the Game. But there’s a complication. The Knight Errants are so devoted to their cause, their special ability Sworn in Camelot gives them the status loyal-3 when their loyalty is tested. Now Job is not only rolling against their strength of conviction tag, but also this tier 3 status. Now rolling with a -1, Job rolls a 6 for a total of 5.
One Errant runs up and swings at Job with his junk-made sword. The Errant would also normally add strength of conviction to the attack, but the tag was already invoked in the previous linked move, so it doesnt apply here. Job rolls Face Danger using his tags but you can’t take my life and soul and endure any punishment. Treating the Errant’s story tag as a weakness tag, Job’s 2 Power drops to 1. Thankfully, Job rolls a 10 and deflects the blow completely!
While Job chooses peace, Enkidu chooses violence. Using her vine-controlling abilities, Enkidu wants to grab the weapons out of the Knight Errants’ hands. Time for another Change the Game!
Using her tags unleash the beast within and thorny tentacles, Enkidu goes up against the Errants’ strength of conviction for a total of +1 Power to her roll. And with a roll of 11 that turns into 12, that’s another complete success for Detective Enkidu!
Even though Enkidu rolled with only 1 Power, a complete success with Change the Game gives a minimum of 2 Juice. Enkidu uses 1 Juice to burn the junk-made sword story tag and uses another Juice to scale up the effect and steal from both Errants. Thorny vines lash out from Enkidu and grab the swords right out of their hands!
Without their weapons, the Knight Errants choose to flee the store, with Detective Enkidu chasing right after them. But as everyone leaves, Job notices the injured store owner behind the counter. This priest isn’t one to leave someone in need of help, so instead of following Enkidu, Job rushes over to help the man.
Job wants to use Change the Game and heal the store owner by reducing their cut-2 status. But Job doesn’t have any healing power tags. Instead, Job gets creative. Since he’s surrounded by alcohol, Job’s player asks if he can use one of the bottles of liquor in the store in order to help disinfect the wound. The MC agrees and gives the temporary story tag bottle of liquor.
With the new story tag, Job rolls a 9 for a total of 10. A complete success! With his minimum of 2 Juice, Job spends both to heal the cut-2 status completely. In tears, the shop owner hugs Job and thanks him for all he’s done.
As we fade out from this scene, we hope we’ve demonstrated just a bit of what Change the Game is capable of. You can use Change the Game in even more creative ways, only limited to your imagination and what you roll. For example, you can use Change the Game to alter the environment. You can also use it to summon objects and creatures, which we cover more in-depth in our video on Summoning. For our support players, you can also use Change the Game to create buffs and debuffs by giving good or bad statuses. Change the Game is great for buff and debuff statuses, but not so much for damaging statuses due to the extra Juice needed to make the status ongoing. If you want to attack a Danger, you’ll still want to use Go Toe to Toe and Hit With All You’ve Got for those automatically ongoing statuses.
Be sure to check out our previous City of Mist In Action videos for in-depth looks at the game, along with the other videos on our channel for all things City of Mist.
Do you have an idea for another City of Mist In Action? Let us know in the comments, on social media, or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!